Curious Appetite

Month: July 2014

Uscio e Bottega- new gourmet food and wine nook in Florence

***PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING TRAVESTY: U+B has closed- they didn’t even leave a note! Apparently, they are moving to a new, bigger location near Piazza San Marco. Stay tuned!***

It is not impossible to find good food in the center of Florence, in fact that is where some of the best food in the region can be found. However, it is very hard to find it. You need to know where to go. You need to know locals. Or follow bloggers who live there. Or follow the local Yelp chapter. But throw tripadvisor out of the window. And chuck out sheer luck unless you have a curious nose like mine, constantly sniffing out the good s***. It is so unbelievably easy to get ripped off in the center of Florence. But alas, I have a tip for my dear curious readers: Uscio e Bottega located just a stone’s throw away from the utterly famous duomo. Continue Reading

Gilda’s Bistrot- homestyle coffee & pastries in Florence

There is nothing more than I love than character and quality. One may say a cappuccino is nothing more than milk and espresso, but for me it is a coveted pleasure that I partake in at few places. There are a few things that can put me in a funk and one of those is a bad cappuccino, and you may think that could never happen in the country of coffee culture but I assure you it does and it does for many reasons.

1. The method in which milk is steamed is fundamental. 2. How it is poured over and weaved into the luscious dark espresso and 3. How much the barista actually cares about their job. While Gilda’s isn’t some hipster coffee haven doing flat whites, the coffee is light years ahead most bars around Florence.

Anytime I have been into Gilda’s, it has been like walking into a friend’s home. There is no high pressure. There are no overwhelming crowds. There is not some hungover barista annoyed by your caffeine feening existence. There is a little spread of homemade pastries welcoming your arrival into this little peaceful nook into the heart of the very Florentine Sant’Ambrogio, one of the most special neighborhoods in the food-loving world. Continue Reading

Trattoria Mario in San Lorenzo, Florence (Italy)

As much as I enjoy a fancy cave aged, herb crusted goats milk and a oily, aromatic glass of Sauvignon Blanc from the Dolomites, at the end of the day I simply adore a good rustic Tuscan greasy spoon hole-in-the-wall with house wine that could pass just as easily as oily gasoline…

This is what I ACTUALLY adore most about Florence. It’s the family run, health department renegades, the hole-in-the-wall where you sit elbow to elbow with strangers at your table, the Tuscan peasant food oasis that has absolutely ZERO pretension…Italian food is this to me.

Fancy name brand chef restaurant serving shot glasses of heirloom tomato coulis and vanilla pod risotto with some equally pretentious mystery “foam” that lacks not only soul but the ability to make you break a sweat when you’ve eaten a little too well. Put it away. I don’t want it. Unless a gorgeous albeit stereotypical Mediterranean man is insisting on taking me there (happens ALL the time! ugh- lay off, Fabios!), I will snub it just like it snubs me with the requirement to be anything less than a hot mess in my normal WFH pj attire for entry. Continue Reading

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